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The Dawn Express

Published 1942

(AKA "Nazi Spy Ring")

Lured into a trap by a Mata Hari... the lives of his loved ones was the price demanded for his honor!

Description from the IMDb:

A Nazi spy ring is after a chemical formula that increases the power of ordinary gasoline for U.S. Army aviation use. Two U.S. chemical companies are developing the formula, with each working on half for security purposes. The spies get half the formula and know that either of two chemists, Robert Norton or Tom Fielding, knows the rest. They capture Fielding, through a ruse by gang member Linda Pavlo, and threaten the life of his sister Nancy and his mother if he does not give them the formula. To protect his friend Fielding, who does know the formula and is engaged to Nancy, Tom pretends to know the secret and boards the Dawn Express plane with the spy leader and his gang.

Run time 62:18
Producer Producers Releasing Corporation
Production Company Producers Releasing Corporation
Audio/Visual mono, b&w
Language English


Reviewer: nanopossum - - October 25, 2014
Subject: Some actors of interest
It's a clumsy film, I thought, the direction is very clumsy. And sometimes silly. What it felt like is they filled up time replaying the scenes again and again, changing, you know, a couple chairs, a couple characters, a couple words, each time. Hey Joe, let's have the blind man go for another walk around the block, ok?

The idea of a spy playing a blind man deserved about 30 seconds if that. In this movie they kept coming back to it.

The dialogue I thought very poor, lacking anything clever or unexpected, and probably is the worst part about the movie. As clever as calling the tavern 'The Tavern.'

Even so, some actors in it are of interest to me. Guess what, an actor from The Cabinet of Dr Caligari plays a Nazi .. I suppose in some movies with strong parts and dialogue he could get away hamming it up--in this movie his protagonists are so dull his hamminess is multiplied.

Yes, and Bakewell is in it and he's struggling. I remember him in The Bat Whispers, a fine movie from 1930, and he was ok in that, as it was more of a physical part and he didn't have a whole lot to say and things were moving along rather nicely anyway.

The two women actors died in their early 50s, one 50 yrs old, other 52 yrs old. And not in the best of circumstances. Anne Nagel always looks to me half-starved and from what I read of her early life I am not surprised. She then appeared in the movies like this. Strange as it may seem, she often plays cheerful parts, and plays them very cheerfully.

The other girl is new to me. An ugly 'V' of her hat pointed down her forehead I couldn't help noticing marred her looks. Otherwise she had attractive eyes, if a bit ordinary in other respects. One thing I hate about 40s are the hats which are often hideously ugly.

Exception: hat worn by Patricia Morrison in the toyshop in 'Dressed to Kill.'
Reviewer: Kodachrome - - October 3, 2014
Subject: Some might find this movie to be awfully funny
I thought it was just plain awful. Still, I have seen worse. I could pick it apart scene by scene, but no good could come of that.

On the upside, it's no worse than "reality programming" on TV and may be a bit more entertaining.
Reviewer: picfixer - - October 26, 2013
Subject: William Bakewell rules!
An utterly unbelievible plot has the world's most obvious Nazi spies trying to worm secrets out of a naive American chemist played by William Bakewell, who is best known for his more than a hundred comedic roles in more than a dozen TV series from "The Jack Benny Show" to "The Love Boat." Bakewell is so wildly inappropiate for this dramatic role at first you can't believe youe eyes. Then if you're anything like me you'll be laughing out loud. Suddenly this less than mediocre melodrama becomes so bad it's good, and it's mostly thanks to a masterpiece of miscasting. CAST NOTE: William Bakewell began his film career as a dramatic actor with supporting roles in films like "All Quiet on the Western Front." He was the ex-son-in-law of Jack Holt.

There are missing frames in this print, but the overall video quality is good. So is the audio.
Reviewer: - - October 23, 2013
Subject: Nazi Spy Ring
I found it fine, some skips but , after all, it is old and public domain and lucky to be available in condition this good.
I downloaded the mpeg first, then the full torrent to see the mp4 version and the splitters i used for audio in different versions. for my own particular interests, nothing to do with quality comparisons.
I like this type of old film, on wwII and the quasi propaganda stuff we rolled out for those early-mid 40s yrs. they are hard to find, some were just tossed out due to the insulting references to the , then, enemies who became important trade partners. others would not have survived anyway because they were all cheaply made, but i still like them, dont object to the slurs anymore and enjoy them for what they are and arent...not very high class drama, no real plots other than to decimate the spy rings at all costs. many used san francisco and new york as shooting locations and did so right out in traffic ,no studio for much of it. I like to see those places as they used to be and the few done in europe , uk, as the war began and after it was over show the immense damage done. there are few and fewer surviving post war, like third man, some earlier , that give an ample picture of what we did to each other and how a couple of yrs of bombing could reduce hundreds of yrs worth of development to rubble and decimate a population.
People need not to forget in a couple of generations, so i try to collect as many of the archived movies as i can while i can
Reviewer: doowopbob - - April 7, 2010
Subject: ....Shoulda Called It....
....The Yawn Express..!
Reviewer: Freebmovies - - April 2, 2010
Subject: Not Very Entertaining
Reviewer: elmagno - - March 22, 2010
Subject: Sound issues resolved
I'll leave it to your own humble opinion as to just what to think of this PRC film of secret formulas and Nazi spies. I just wanted to mention that this newly uploaded copy has a few skipped frames here and there, but (unlike the version it replaces) is quite watchable from beginning to end.
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